An Atonement for children—one of New Zealand’s bestloved children’s writers tells a morally complex story with a powerful ending.

Bert wants nothing more than to be old enough to fight in the war— to handle weapons, defend his country, and have a life filled with adventure. Little does he know that the secrets and danger of war don’t always stay at the front line, and that one boy’s actions can change everything.


Joy Cowley is one of New Zealand’s best-loved writers for children and adults, with an international reputation. She has won a multitude of awards and honours for her bestselling books, including the Prime Ministers Award for contribution to literature. She was shortlisted for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2018.


A well-written, gripping novel with intense emotional involvement in a well-drawn historical background. It is in the same class as the best of Maurice Gee’s historical novels for young adults.

Magpies Magazine

A sophisticated, no nonsense novel . Joy Cowley superbly recreates the war time atmosphere in New Zealand.

The Dominion Post

A powerful novel which draws readers into the moral conundrum which confronts several of the characters.

The Source

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